LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Julianne Hough is best known for her fancy footwork on hit reality television series “Dancing With the Stars.” She’s won twice, with speed skater Apolo Ohno and with race-car driver Helio Castroneves.
Now the 22-year-old has set her sights on acting, and this week, she made her feature film debut in the musical “Burlesque.” She plays Georgia, a dancer at a club who befriends the newest member of the group, played by Christina Aguilera.
Hough spoke to Reuters about working with her famous co-stars, Aguilera and Cher, her future film projects and recording her second country album.
Q: Your first feature film, and you’re working with Cher, Christina Aguilera and Stanley Tucci. Was it intimidating?
A: “It was intimidating, but to have them be such genuine, sincere and amazing human beings made the intimidation go away. Yes, I was nervous at first, but it switched over to friendship really quickly.”
Q: What moments in the film stand out in your memory?
A: “My scene with Cher in the bathroom. The things she said to me were like, wow. Afterwards I ran and wrote about it in my journal. I also got to go to Christina’s house and sing in her studio, which is so cool because I grew up idolizing her.”
Q: You have red hair in ‘Burlesque,’ but you’re naturally blonde. Why the switch?
A: “There were three blondes on the set — Christina, Kristen Bell and I. Kristen went brunette and I went a really dark red. It was a wig and I got to keep it at the end.”
Q: You were supposed to make your acting debut in a remake of “Footloose,” but now that’s going to be your follow-up film. What happened?
A: “There were so many different changes with cast members and directors. By the time ‘Burlesque’ came around we still hadn’t shot anything. But I just finished ‘Footloose’ and I’m so glad everything worked out the way it did.”
Q: What do you mean?
A: “With ‘Burlesque,’ I did not have the weight of the movie on my shoulders. ‘Footloose’ was a cool opportunity to be the lead in something.”
Q: You’re working on another album now. How is that going?
A: “I’m writing songs right now. I really feel like this is going to be the album that launches my music career.”
Q: But you released a self-titled debut in 2008. Was that not your launch?
A: “It was very rushed and I didn’t really have an input on the songs and the style. I feel if I had focused just on the music, instead of trying to juggle ‘Dancing with The Stars’ at the same time, I could have launched my music career a bit more. But the opportunity to do it came out of the blue and I wasn’t going to say, ‘no.’”
Q: You are a dancer, a singer and an actress. What do you consider yourself first?
A: “Gosh, I love all three so much. I’ve been doing them my whole life, all at the same time. I was in a pop band growing up in London, and I did some acting on the West End (theater district) out there too. But I’ve had more exposure with the dancing. On a professional level, that came first. But I couldn’t think of doing one without the others.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Reaney